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Lawyer blasts leak of victim’s alcohol level Calls for fed probe into cops’ killing

Lawyer blasts leak of victim’s alcohol level
Calls for fed probe into cops’ killing
By Laura Crimaldi and Richard Weir  |   Saturday, October 23, 2010  |  |  Local Coverage

ETERNAL THANKS: Danroy Henry Sr. shows off a letter written by his son Danroy Jr. The letter thanks his parents for raising him

Photo by Ted Fitzgerald
The lawyer for the family of an Easton college student killed by New York police last weekend hammered an anonymous report leaked last night stating the 20-year-old may have been intoxicated.

“I’m not going to let police character assassinate this man in the eleventh hour,’’ attorney Michael Sussman told the Herald.

“It’s very obvious to me the Department of Justice must take over this investigation,” he added.

Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday also joined with others in demanding a full investigation into the fatal police shooting of Danroy “D.J.” Henry Jr.

“I’ve spoken to the parents. My heart goes out to them and their family,” Patrick said. “They, like the rest of us, are counting on the authorities in New York to give a complete and accurate account of what happened.”

Patrick’s comments come as Henry’s parents said they only want to know the truth amid conflicting statements from investigators and Pace University football players at the chaotic scene. Danroy Henry Sr. said he is not speculating about whether race played a role in his son’s death.

“As we were sitting with our son in the hospital, we whispered in his ear, ‘We will get to the truth,’ ” Henry said. “And our singular message to (investigators) is to help us do that, help us get to the absolute truth, because that’s what we need here.”

Henry died on Sunday after being shot by police outside Finnegan’s Grill in Thornwood, N.Y. There are conflicting stories about what led to the shooting. Police said cops opened fire after Henry’s vehicle struck two officers. The family of Brandon Cox, 20, of Easton, who was also in the car, said Henry was trying to move out of a fire lane.

Pace football players want New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate. Under New York law, only the governor has the authority to appoint a special prosecutor.

“Westchester County will not cover up for the brutality and shooting of D.J. Henry,” said attorney Bonita Zelman, who represents some of Henry’s teammates. “They will not get away with covering up and trying to ruin the lives of those football players who came forward to save his life.”

Zelman was referring to claims that witnesses who tried to help Henry were “brutalized” by cops. She said four players were wrongly arrested and singled out Daniel Parker, 22, of Lauderhill, Fla., who claims cops beat him after he “begged” to perform CPR. Parker was also arrested.

Sussman said last night the anonymous report — carried by The Associated Press — that stated Henry had a blood alcohol level of 0.13 shows police have “no integrity.” The legal limit for driving in New York is 0.08.

“This was not a DWI stop. Everybody knows Danroy was waiting for friends,” said Sussman, who added the parents deserve to see any autopsy results first before they are “leaked” to the press.

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